|Input Formats||NTSC (analog)|
|Support Status||Supported. VBI data is supported in newer versions of the IVTV driver.|
|Driver||IvTV 0.4.0 or newer. ** 0.4.2 is required if you have a Samsung tuner **|
|Sound Driver||not needed. The hardware MPEG encoder will multiplex the audio with the video stream.|
The Hauppauge PVR-150 is a PCI-based video tuner card which features hardware-accellerated video and audio compression. The design for this model was based on the PVR-250 but involves a less expensive choice of components (Hauppauge's own statement).
The PVR-150 is considered to be a highly stable, easy to work with analog video capture card with a built-in MPEG-2 encoder. The ease of setup and overall quality has made it one of the community's favorite cards to use in standard definition backends
The card is frequently packaged with different accessories which may or may not include an IR remote control and IR reciever/transmitter and may or may not show the WinTV product line name or "MCE" designation. There is support for using the optional IR reciever/transmitter under Linux through LIRC. To date, there have three different models of the card, itself.
- Model 1045: NTSC version
- Model 1046: PAL/SECAM version
- Model 1047: NTSC version with English/French manual (no other difference)
All known versions of the PVR-150 are handled by the same version of the IVTV driver, now a part of the Video4Linux subsystem found in the 2.6.x Linux kernels.
As this card records OTA (over-the-air) analog video it is technically obsolete in the United States, however there exist separate PAL and NTSC versions of this card. Be sure the one you obtain is the correct one for your region. Additionally, the US version of the card has a dbx-TV stereo audio decoder, while the European version of the card has a Nicam stereo audio decoder.
The driver for the Hauppauge PVR-150 is the excellent IVTV driver, which has an excellent Wiki. They have all the links you need to download the drivers and firmware and an excellent HOWTO for installing everything for various distributions.
The issues existing with the PVR-150's lack of VBI/Closed_captioning support happens to be with varying versions of the IVTV driver. Certain versions of the driver allow the PVR-150 to produce usable VBI data.
Issues and Problems
- There is a buggy DMA engine in (at least some revisions of) this card. According to the bug report on the IVTV page, this affects the cx23415/6 chipsets. The net result is that you could experience system hangs or truncated recordings when using the affected versions of this card.
- More information on the DMA problem can be found on the ivtv wiki.
- The PCI Latency article describes howto change the latency of a PCI card and why you might need to. In summary, the latency of hard drive systems needs to be as high or higher than the capture card(s) so that the hard drives may handle the data throughput from the capture card(s). This does not happen in all systems by default and may require some experimentation. Some users have reported this as a fix.
- Does not produce VBI/Closed-Captioning data. See IVTV.
- IVTV driver doesn't recognize the card, and lspci -n shows card's vendor vendor:bus id as "4044:0016" instead of "4444:0016". Apparently this happens with some motherboards / chipsets, if you install the card in certain PCI slots. Usually, the first 3 slots (closest to the CPU) are primary PCI slots; the rest are connected via a PCI to PCI bridge. So moving the card to one of the first 3 slots will usually fix this.
- There can be intermittent problems with the audio encoder, causing the audio track to have a "tinny" sound every 10-20 channel changes. A known work around is to place the following code at the end of your channel changer script (typically /usr/bin/changechannel.sh) which resets the audio input to the PVR-150 encoder:
( sleep 5; v4l2-ctl --set-audio-input 1 -d /dev/video0 > /dev/null 2>&1 ) &
PVR150 Remote - setting up lirc for the PVR-150
At least some models of the PVR 150 can send IR, not just receive it. This functionality is often call IR Blasting. It is useful for controlling external tuners. LIRC PVR-150 IR blaster support, version 3 describes how to set this up using a patched version of LIRC.
The following files in /var/log may contain a message "Unreasonably low latency" from ivtv:
/var/log/debug /var/log/dmesg /var/log/kern.log /var/log/messages /var/log/syslog
If you find such messages you should probably read the page on PCI Latency
Debian GNU/Linux 4.0
Best info most likely found on the IVTV driver forum on Sourceforge. See also the wiki at: http://ivtv.writeme.ch/tiki-index.php